Lessons In Pregnancy: Faith

Sharifa Stevens's picture

Being pregnant has been a veritable devotional/worship experience, which completely caught me off-guard because I ignorantly reduced pregnancy to lots of eating, nausea, stretch marks,  excruciating pain…and a beautiful baby.

I am still expecting the beautiful baby, but there are so many other lessons that the Lord is teaching me through this process, that I thank Him daily for His love, and for the gift my son has already been to me. For the next few weeks, I’d like to share with you what I am learning.

Lesson 1: Faith
Hebrews 11:1: Now faith is being sure of what we hope for, being convinced of what we do not see.

I didn’t think I would be capable of having a baby. After a couple of years of newlywed bliss, and a few more candles added to my seemingly luminous birthday cake, my childlessness started to trouble me. I rationalized away the nagging fear of infertility for a while by reminding myself of how much I feared children, how I’ve never changed a diaper, how I probably wouldn’t make a great mom anyway.

The rationalizing was a ploy, because the truth was, I didn’t trust God with my fear. To my shame, I expected him to wield my fragile baby hopes against me like a weapon (I have this paranoid heresy that crops up too often that God’s Will = The Most Painful Thing. I hope you don't share this untrue thinking, but if you do - you're not alone).

I distinctly remember being surrounded by nature's beauty while on vacation in Colorado, surrounded by young families, eating good food and breathing in fresh air...and looking at yet another negative pregnancy test. And in the midst of this idyllic scene, I lost it. Like, alone-in-the-dark, rocking-back-and-forth, lost it. I cried, shouted, and sang mournfully to the Lord. I felt downright impolite because I finally admitted to Him that I was disappointed with His seeming inaction.

I think that the day I got real with God – through tears, snot, and fetal-position wailing about all my worry, pain, doubt, anger, helplessness and inadequacy – was the day I felt His presence, and with that, a reassurance that He would take me through the unknown.

Paul talks about a peace that surpasses understanding in Philippians 4:7. The Lord graced me with that peace, and let me tell you, it’s weird. It’s otherworldly. It’s way too potent and imminent and beautiful for me to take credit for. It’s the peace to cry and express, and…rest in God’s able hands, whatever the outcome. Which meant...baby or no baby.

That peace is like a lullaby that hushes the soul and quiets the heart. And only God-given faith can produce it. (Think of the man in this story: Mark 9:17-26: “I believe; help my unbelief!”)

I’m so far from perfect that I find myself often wanting to trade in these robes of faith and peace for the more familiar frocks of fear, apathy or despair, not just in pregnancy, but in all facets of life. I know these feelings; they require no faith, or growth, or risk. Or joy. I constantly return to crying out, “I believe, help my unbelief!”

What trips me out is that when I ask for help, Jesus actually does, just like He did in the book of Mark. His help is the assurance of His presence, no matter what the circumstance, no matter what the crisis, no matter what the outcome.

I didn’t think we would have a baby. And then we got pregnant. Conceiving was a joyous and incredibly precious answer to prayer. But, the gift the Lord gave me first, which sustains me through a litany of fears, has been the gift of resting in His hands, no matter what. No matter what.

No matter what.

Comments

You rock! As we're three months into trying to conceive baby #2, this was so timely and comforting. Thank you, thank you!

Sharifa Stevens's picture

Thank you for sayin' that I rock - and I pray that you feel God's presence all through the journey. AND enjoy baby #1...and the process of making baby #2, if I might say so! :o)

Thank you so much for sharing this blog! I feel that so many women out there are in your EXACT same situation and have felt the same fears as you have throughout your fertility journey :) I have not had this experience personally but it soooo much helps me to understand how it feels and will help me understand the struggle that so many ladies go through. God has gifted you with writing and I am so blessed to hear your feelings put into such beautiful words. Thank you!

Sharifa Stevens's picture

Thanks so much for the encouragement, Lynsey! I really hope that it helps other folks to know that they are not alone in their struggle, because they have a community that cares, and a God who wants to be their place of refuge.

OK...I'm not married nor am I in the process of making a baby but FAITH is always a subject I can use a refreshers' course on. Sometimes I feel like I'm the only one who gets super frustrated about life (though I know I'm not)...and then I get frustrated with myself for being so naive about it all. But as your blog has so beautifully stated, we're able to cry out to God and be extremely vulnerable with Him. Thanks for the reminder!

Sharifa Stevens's picture

I soooo get that, Ashley! I don't think married people or parents corner the market on faith, or the crises of faith that we face - you are right on.

And I love that our Father gets that. His Word gives us examples of faith in the midst of crisis not only through Abraham and Sarah or David or Esther, but also through the examples of Rahab or the woman with the issue of blood, or Joseph or Daniel, or Paul. He's so thoughtful that way - probably because he wants not a shred of social status requirements to keep us from Him.

Thank you for sharing this, Sharifa. It's such a welcome reminder for me to turn to God for that peace instead of trying to fix and solve on my own. I love reading your thoughts and look forward to more. :-)

Sharifa-- thanks so much for sharing this! First of all... Praise the Lord for his faithfulness and blessings! It's so awesome to learn about your journey. Second of all... you are such a gifted writer! I LOVED reading this! and Third of all, like Ashley above, I'm not married or anywhere near baby making, but while I was in college I learned of a hormone imbalance I have which may affect my ability to have children some day. This was devastating news to me, especially for someone who has always always loved kids and wanted her own. Doctors tried to comfort me with "there are procedures that can be done..." but I believe in a God who can provide, even in such circumstances. Finally, I reached a point where I had to cry out to God... He knows my heart and desire for children some day... how could He allow this potential problem? I KNEW He could overcome it, but I had to get to a place where I was okay with His will, no matter what that looks like. It was then that I realized God has given me a heart for all children and it would be a joy and honor to adopt should I not be able to have my own. That's all a long ways off, but one day we shall see how God chooses to provide!

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